I decided to bite on the Sonos Playbar. (plus its friends for full surround)

I was quickly able to decommission the giant receiver and a pile of wires. The sub can now be hidden next to the couch.

Spare wires and cables.

We also went off and purchased the wrong credenza at Ikea. We thought it was the right one, but we were, unfortunately, incorrect.

TV stand missing the receiver and a crapload of wires all over the place.

Also on the way is a way to hang the TV and Sonos on the wall. This will free up a bunch of real and visual space in the family room. Not only that, but it makes things a lot simpler overall.

The one thing I’m really playing with at the moment is getting a perfect sync between the picture and the audio. I’m super sensitive to sync issues. With the TV running in AC3 passthrough mode it seems to be a tad slow in passing from the HDMI over to the Sonos.

This is still a work in progress… It’s not far enough off that I’m losing sleep over it.

– = –

The meat:

It sounds awesome. The soundstage is a lot wider than sound bar itself. It, of course, integrates with the rest of the Sonos network as you would expect. The bass without a sub does leave something to be desired, but that’s expected for any sound bar — you can’t change the laws of physics.

Once we added the sub to the mix it was better than the previous setup. The surrounds round out the mix beautifully.

What I’ve read is things sound even better once the bar is turned the other direction. Picture turning it 90-degrees towards you in the picture. Sonos have thoughtfully included an additional IR receiver on what would be the new front side of the unit.

Overall I’m really rather happy with this thing. It sounds really good. As important is that it cleans things up a lot in the room.

I’ll have another post when I get the new credenza in.  :-)